April 23, 2010
1934 Stanley Cup - Chicago Black Hawks
The Hawks greatest asset was goaltender Charlie Gardiner. "Bonnie Prince Charlie" would limit Detroit to just two goals in Chicago's three victories, including a shutout in the final game which went to double overtime. Sadly, it would prove to be Gardiner's last game as he would die of a brain hemorrhage after the season.
The aforementioned double overtime game's hero was Mush March. March had a reputation for scoring famous goals, but none bigger than on April 10th, 1934. He scored the winning goal at 10:05 of the second overtime period - the only goal of the game - clinching Chicago's first ever Stanley Cup final.
"They had a face-off in their end after 30 minutes of overtime had gone by. The puck came back to me from (Doc) Romnes on the face-off. I shot it and it went right through (Wilf) Cude's legs. Wilf Cude. He was a great goaltender. I didn't realize it right at the second, you know, that we'd won the Stanley Cup, but it was great. I rushed in and got the puck and then the fellows grabbed me and wheeled me on their shoulders all the way around the rink. It was nice to see my name on it for the first time. It's always nice to be a champion. It's always easy to be a loser."
Cude may have been a great goaltender, but he's most famous for how he retired. There's a few variations of this story, but here's Cude himself explaining how he decided it was time to retire.
"I was having my afternoon steak before a game. I poured a hell of a lot of ketchup on it. I'd just started to eat when my wife Beulah made some casual remark. For no good reason, I picked up my steak and threw it at her. She ducked and the steak hit the wall. The ketchup splattered and the steak hung there on the wall. Slowly it began to peel, and I stared at it. Between the time that the steak hit the wall and then hit the floor, I decided I'd been a touchy goalkeeper long enough. By the time it landed, I retired."
Another hero for the Hawks in 1934 was hard hitting defenseman Lionel Conacher. Johnny "Peanuts" O'Flaherty said "Conacher blocked more shots than Charlie Gardiner and was the definite difference in the finals". Conacher also was noted to have rushed the puck out of his own zone on many occassions, scoring two goals on these rushes. He was included as one of the game's three stars in six of the eight games in the post season.
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